New Delhi: Naga People’s Front (NPF) has decided to withdraw support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Manipur government, stated spokesperson of Achumbemo Kikon at a long meeting at NPF central office in Kohima on Saturday. The NPF contended that the BJP does not pay heed to its ideas and suggestions, asserting that the action will be taken after the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2019 ends.

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The meeting was conducted with its leaders to decide if the party should continue its alliance with the BJP in the state. NPF is a partner in the BJP-led coalition in Manipur. The BJP, however, denied the allegations and said it has extended all possible cooperation to its partners to ensure the smooth functioning of the government.

The NPF has four MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. Even if the party pulls out, it wouldn’t impact the BJP-led coalition, which currently has 29 legislators in the House. Eight of the 28 Congress MLAs, who had won the 2017 polls, defected to the BJP last year, taking its tally from 21 to 29 in the Assembly. The other parties in the ruling coalition are NPP (4), LJP (1), Independent (1) and AITC (1).

Awangbou Newmai, the state unit chief of the Naga People’s Front (NPF), claimed that the BJP “looks down” on its alliance partners.

“The BJP has never respected the spirit of alliance since the formation of government in 2017. There have been instances when their leaders have refused to consider our members as alliance partners,” he said, without elaborating.

Newmai also said that the saffron party did not live up to the promises it made to its coalition partners.

“The NPF has always considered the BJP as its big brother, but that did not stop the saffron party from bluffing to us. We haven’t got our due respect,” he claimed.

Rebutting Newmai’s assertions, Ch Bijoy, the spokesperson of the BJP, said the NPF had maintained that it did not want any ministerial berth while joining the alliance, but now, it seems, the party has several demands.

Of the four NPF MLAs in the Assembly, Loshii Dikho, who won from the Mao Assembly seat, is a cabinet minister.

“The allegations made by the NPF are totally baseless and unfounded. All possible cooperation has been extended to our coalition partners for smooth functioning of the government,” he added.

(With agency inputs)